Like clockwork, February seems to be the month each year that Italian developer, Milestone, introduces the world to the latest officially sanctioned MotoGP video game. 2021 is no exception.
MotoGP 21 is real and it’s coming later this year to PS4, Xbox One, PC (Steam and Epic Games Store), Nintendo Switch and the next-gen systems of PS5 and Xbox Series. That’s great news for those lucky enough to snag a new gaming console recently as you will now have another new motorcycle game to play. To its credit, MotoGP 21 will be the third Milestone game to get the next-gen treatment already, while some other games are yet to hit the new systems.
The good news continues as, from these early screenshots and the reveal trailer show, the game has a genuine next gen look to it. We’ve never seen a better-looking MotoGP game. Drop dead gorgeous.
PS5 and Xbox Series players will be treated to dynamic 4K resolution, 60fps, larger 22-player online events, enhanced lighting effects and fast loading times. On PS5, Milestone’s other motorcycle game, Ride 4, has some of the quickest loading times I’ve ever witnessed, so hopefully the same is true of this new MotoGP release. PS5 players will also benefit from DualSense haptic feedback and adaptive trigger features.
But the proof is always in the pudding, let’s see how it looks when it’s in our hands over the coming months. For now, though, drink it in. This could be the first racing game to really test the new hardware.
On paper, it’s not just the visuals that are promised to take a step forward. There are some very important additions that will appease MotoGP loyalists. Alongside a revised suspension system and the game factoring in brake temperature, the long lap penalty system used in real-life events now makes an appearance in the game for the first time.
In addition, when you fall off your motorcycle – and if MotoGP 20 is anything to go by, you will fall off the bike – you’ll have to pick up the bike and get back on it, instead of just automatically respawning. How that works in situ remains to be seen, but these small items help authenticity.
There is a new single-player gameplay mode too, in the form of Managerial Career. In theory, you will create your own team, customise your machine, edit your attire, work with a Personal Manager to align team members, a Chief Engineer to earn Research Points to develop parts and a Data Analyst to find the right setup.
If that all sounds like F1 2020’s My Team, then you would be correct – and that’s no bad thing. Now, it should be noted at this point that the Milestone MotoGP games have featured something similar in the past, and they’ve often felt a little flat, so let’s wait to see how it plays before passing judgement.
Similarly, the ANNA AI system, which uses (buzzword bingo) ‘machine learning’, is said to be improved. In previous MotoGP games, I don’t think this has quite lived up to expectations – fingers crossed this time.
The game is set to release 22nd April 2021 across all platforms, so it won’t be long before we get to try it ourselves. Perhaps then, the next MotoGP eSports Championship will pivot to uses this new game for the final stages? Let us know in the comments which features you’d like to see in the next MotoGP release.